The five steps to brand your Instagram

There are more than 100 million active accounts on Instagram so it can be a challenge to make your feed stand out from the crowd.

The most crucial part of having an Instagram is to cultivate your digital persona with a combination of a distinct tone of voice, brilliant content and a strong aesthetic.

But how can you do this?

Here is our simple five-step guide on how to brand your Instagram and make it work perfectly for you or your artists.

1. Define Your Values

We all know a picture tells a thousand words, so use your Instagram posts to answer these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you represent?
  • What do you want your followers to know?
  • What sets you apart?

You should start by taking some time to consider what your core values are and which ones are going to work best on Instagram. Take a look at the type of posts that inspire you and study the poster's profile, tone and approach closely.

For example, check out the excellent Female Collective on Instagram, “where women are celebrated, uplifted, supported, and empowered every day,” by focussing on caption-based inspirational quotes to engage and grow its captive audience.

Perhaps jot down a few keywords and themes that are the most associated with your personal brand as a starting point and then build the visuals from there.

2. Build The Persona

Once you’ve got a general idea of what you’re going for, it’s time to build the persona around it. Taking inspiration from your initial notes, start building the character you want your Instagram to have. If your target audience is millennials who love pop or Gen Z alt kids, research into the things they’re already into and incorporate aspects of their language and style that align with the brand identity you’re trying to build.

If you find it difficult to think objectively about your persona, pick another artist instead and go through this thought process as if you were them. For example...

What would Billie Eilish do? Her Instagram is authentic and minimalistic, she follows no-one and her post captions are emoji-laden, understated, succinct and non-salesy. You can bet her WhatsApps are written in the same style and it’s this realness that resonates for Billie and her fans.

3. Have A Consistent Visual Identity

When you think about other brands you love, they will always have their own aesthetic that reigns true to them. Often you can tell whose post it is before you even read it and that’s because everything feels visually familiar.

From standout logos to fonts to a colour scheme, download apps such as Over and have a play around to find styles you’d like to use when you’re posting. Be consistent and creative with them to draw people into your visual world.

If your vibe is all GIFS, bubblegum fonts and pastels, then a beige image with Times New Roman all over it will ring alarm bells in your followers’ minds. So decide on a visual identity that is specific to you or your next album or tour campaign and then stick with it.

For extra consistency, when you’re commissioning album artwork don’t forget to leave room in the budget to include pro-looking social skins and content templates from your designer, too.

4. Create Some Guidelines

Now that you’ve got the persona nailed, it’s key to not veer away from your hard work and start going off on a tangent - which is very easy to do.

With multiple people controlling an Instagram account, it can often be a lot clearer and easier to create a definitive Google Doc of guidelines so that everyone is on the same page. This can be a master sheet that includes everything from tone of voice, keywords, visuals, typefaces, taglines, hashtags, times to post and beyond.

5. Get To Know The Algorithm

And finally, it’s all well and good coming up with a beautiful content collection for socials, but if nobody is seeing it then it seems a little pointless.

The Instagram algorithm is mysterious and subject to change but it’s all based on how people interact with your post and how you interact with other people’s posts.

So do some research, make sure you’re using every aspect of the site from IGTV content, to AR filters and Instagram saves and encouraging interactions with your fanbase by responding to as many comments as you can.